Richard Clarke

Born: c1790.
Arrived Sydney: 2nd July 1811.
Vessel: Providence.
Status: Convict-transported for life.
Married: (1) Catherine Flannagan/Prendergast in cDecember 1818 in Tasmania.
             (2) Catherine Flannagan in 1837 at Patersons Plains, N.S.W.
Died: Maitland West, N.S.W.
Buried: Maitland, N.S.W.

Richard Clarke, was an Irish political rebel and given a life sentence at Limerick, Ireland, March 1809. When sentenced he used the alias Dan Donohoe. He arrived in Australia on board the ship "Providence" which arrived 2 July, 1811 and was sent to Van Dieman's Land on the ship "Windham", 1814.

He is described as 5'8" tall, light brown hair and hazel eyes and occupation labourer. He received his Emancipation Certificate 11 January,1820 and a conditional pardon 21 January, 1820 and left for Newcastle in 1821 an area popular with the Irish.

Catherine Pendergrass received a sentence of 7 years in Carlow, Ireland in August 1816 and the only description on the shipping list is "strong.....(writing illegible) country". She came on the ship "Canada" 6 August, 1817 and arrived in Van Dieman's Land on the "Elizabeth Henrietta" 1817.

Richrd Clarke and Catherine Pendergrass were married in Hobart Town 7 December, 1818 and his age being given as 30 and her's 23 years.

There are a lot of date discrepancies for the Clarke family and their daughter, Mary Anne's birth was registered three times and date given as 1817 but the birth was registered several years afterwards in N.S.W. so this could be an error, but their arrival dates and marriage are the correct one. (Richard Clarke is probably not the natural father of Mary Anne but as least give Many Anne his name). (In the 1828 census the name is spelt CLARK and Mary Anne's age 16. She died at the age of 33 in 1950 so the Y.O.B. 1817)

At the time of the 1828 census we find the Clarkes living at "Vaux Cottage" near Vacy which he leased from John Cory. Richard had 230 acres of which 25 were cleared and cultured and owned 32 cattle.

Richard Clarke must have been a capable man and besides running his property was working as a builders overseer when "Patterson Arms' Hotel was built with convict labour. He was also on the committee for the erection of a Catholic Church at Maitland. There are several references to him in old documents.

In 1823 Richard Clarke, married with one child, and with sufficient means to manage a farm, applied for a grant of land and was recommended by J P Webber of Patterson as having "sober and industrious habits." His request was to be granted in the Parish of Maitland when the survey was completed. He received 80 acres in Maitland in October. Because of mistaken apportioning, he had to give up the 80 acres in 1830, with its improvements of a four roomed house, worker's hut, cleared and a crop of grain planted, to the owner St John Jamieson.

He was offered another selection at Patterson's Plains.

Submitted by Descendant and Association Member, Shirley Hanke.



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